MACP, Nature vs Nurture Search Strategy

The following searching advice provides some insight into how to search for the topic of “Nature vs Nurture”.  In this example, you will notice how a literal search for that exact phrase is less effective than conducting a Boolean search and also looking for additional, more specific scientific/technology terminology.


We begin this search for the literal phrase “Nature vs Nurture” in EBSCO Academic database. This basic search retrieves a little over two thousand results. We will still need to narrow results by full-text, peer-review and a date limit.


Here we use the “Limits” or “filters” located on the left side of the screen.



This search eventually results in just over 400 results. However, we can expand on this search more extensively.


In this slight change from “Nature vs Nurture” to “Nature AND Nurture” we expand upon the results from just over 400 to almost a thousand.


However, it’s also important to be taking note of specific keywords associated with the journals you’re reviewing. You will find additional terms to search the databases.  For example, you could search for the following terms related to this topic. “Developmental Genetics” OR “Behavioral Epigenetics” OR “Parental Influences” OR “Behavior Genetics”. You may be able to find additional terminology to add to your search. As you can see, this increases results from almost a thousand to 3679.


And of course, don’t forget to also search ProQuest database as well.  As you can see here, there are several thousands of options. Not all of these will be relevant, so you will have to find ways to narrow the results further.